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7 Diseases Doctors Often Miss That Can Kill You

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Doctors make mistakes, too. And often, such mistakes come by way of making a diagnostic miss. These are the top seven diseases that doctors miss, and they can kill you.

1. Cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer can be terrifying, but not being diagnosed if you have it is far worse. A Harvard study found that cancer, primarily the breast and colorectal types, is the most commonly misdiagnosed disease, and experts say this is due to doctors failing to stick to screening guidelines. In fact, singer Kylie Minogue reported that her breast cancer was initially misdiagnosed.

2. Infection. The same Harvard study found that infection was the second most misdiagnosed disease, in part because many infections share symptoms that are similar to those of other conditions. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed forms include ear infection, yeast infection, sinus infection, and pertussis infection (whooping cough).

3. Aortic dissection. With this potentially life-threatening condition, there is bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta, the major artery leaving the heart. But the disease frequently gets misdiagnosed as heartburn because of sensations felt in the chest. It is believed that actor John Ritter died of an aortic dissection that had been misdiagnosed.

4. Clogged arteries. When the arteries become clogged with fatty deposits called plaque, it leads to coronary artery disease-the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Despite its prevalence, though, doctors often misdiagnose the condition because they attribute symptoms, such as shortness of breath, to the side effects of being overweight rather than to clogged arteries.

5. Heart attack. How could a heart attack be misdiagnosed? Well, they’re not always as obvious as the ones we see on TV; sometimes, the only symptoms are a sense of fullness in the chest and nausea. A study conducted by the New England Medical Center in Boston found that one in every 50 heart attack victims are mistakenly sent home by emergency room doctors, and other studies suggest that misdiagnosis rates may be even higher.

6. Celiac disease. Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by eating the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, and many other foods containing wheat, barley, or rye. It is most frequently misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or even chronic fatigue syndrome or depression.

7. Bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis causes a swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord, and it can kill its victims in hours. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright lights, sleepiness, confusion, rash, and seizures. From this list, you can guess how it could be easily mistaken for influenza.

Source: Live Longer Now [http://www.livelongernow.net/2009/01/27/7-diseases-doctors-miss-that-can-kill-you/]

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Source by JB Lazarte

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